Designers are simple people. They are never short of imagination and enthusiasm, but what they really appreciate is a clear instruction. That is the job brief.

On the outside, designers seem like carefree coffee-drinking lot. Secretly, they relish in being organised. I don’t know one designer that doesn’t put label on things or not fascinated by a Muji storage.

When you hire a designer, you are not simply hiring someone to make your brand pretty. You are hiring a right hand. A weapon wielder to execute your strategy if you like, to communicate persuasively with your target audience and solve the messaging issues that your brand may have.

When you hire a designer, you are not simply hiring someone to make your brand pretty. You are hiring a right hand.

It’s important for designers to buy into your vision to champion it. You need to explain that story by writing a good job brief.

So, what’s a good job brief? Most of it is common sense – to include details such as budget, project duration, timeline, background, objective and desired result.

Be organised. Because you can’t score without a goal.

You’d be surprised how many jobs that landed on my desk without a clear timeline and objective. In my opinion, if a job hasn’t got clear a deadline or objective, it’s not ready to be passed on to the creative team.

Some two decades ago when I started out in an ad agency – before project management platforms like Trello existed – the Creative Director will not accept a “job bag” unless it had a job number. Why? If hasn’t got a job a number, it means that the Account Executive hasn’t done his/her homework. It’s not filed properly. The job bag was literally a brown envelope stuffed with artworks and related research materials for the creative. These days it could be a Google drive or any cloud folders.

If a job hasn’t got clear a deadline or objective, it’s not ready to be passed on to the creative team.

Please take some time to gather your thoughts first. Get the relevant team members to agree on the brief before commissioning.

Zarina Holmes is a Creative Director and Founder of GLUE Studio.
linkedin.com/in/zarinaholmes

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